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The talking point in this World Cup final will however, be always about the sending off of Zidane in extra time. In Zinedine Zidane's last match before retiring from football that wasn't the best way to say farewell but he did enough in the final to show why he is regarded one of the best footballers ever. Before the sending off I reckon the major talking points would have been the foul that led to France's penalty and Italy's disallowed second half goal.
Its unfortunate that David Trezeguet is the one who missed a penalty for France because when more that one player misses it doesn't look that bad. Trezeguet's penalty was so similar to the one Zidane scored in normal play but the difference is that his didn't cross the line. For Italy it was fitting that Fabio Grosso scored the winning penalty. He has been a revelation for Italy and has had a very good tournament. For me Grosso and Germany's Philip Lahm were the best left backs in the tournament.
From the way Italy played after their equaliser and more so in the second half I could tell that these guys were not so concerned by penalties the way they were against Germany in the semis and when it came time to take them you could see that they had practised penalties very well and I think the whole team could have scored if that was needed.
So for a change Italy triumph on penalties in a World Cup.
It does not matter how Professional and experienced one is, at times the level of provocation just goes beyond the line where one can control himself/herself. The Zinedine incident is one such case. Looking at the video one can see Zinedine and Materazzi exchanging some words and as Zinedine retreats Materazzi utters words which can only be very "nasty" judging by the spontaneous reaction they produced.
An incident that readily comes to mind is that of George Weah who head butted another player a few years ago after being racially abused. George Weah was a decent, professional and experienced player but lets face it a human being at times loses the plot depending on the amount of emotional pressure exerted and Zinedine is no different.
Whilst i don't condone what happened and i feel Zinedine should have "tried" to react differently, the bottom line is that an experienced player is still a human being who suffers emotional stress just like all of us.
I agree with you Admire that there has been possibly an over-reaction to the head-butt without considering what Marco Materazzi said. Yes, but whatever Materazzi said this was the World Cup final we are talking about and the millions of people watching the match wouldn't have heard what Materazzi said. ZZ should have restrained himself and possibly report Materazzi later on after the match, too hard I know but there were only eleven minutes to go and with France in the driving seat. The fact that ZZ was retiring means he has been in the game for a long time and should have known better. Having said that, I think FIFA should allow for a mechanism whereby players can report provocative incidents to the referee because without such a mechanism some players are going take the law into their own hands and cameras are not always going to be there.